What is success in life?

A sporting champion reassesses achievement

Martin Crowe, who died of cancer last week, was perhaps New Zealand’s most famous cricketer.

A prolific run-score, his was the wicket every opposing team wanted.

Yet on his own admission – in a frank interview before his death – he reached the age of fifty without knowing who he was.

‘From the age of 14-21, my adolescence was taken away from me. I was handed a script and really didn’t have a lot of choice in any of it. It was set in stone very early, and my fear was fed and my ego grew. So I didn’t know who the hell I was when I reached the age of fifty.’

Would he have scored more runs if he’d been happier?

‘No, but I would have scored better runs, more meaningful runs. I just always had the caveat I was going to fall short or not reach the goals of my career. That’s my over-thinking and fearful make-up getting in the way.’

What would he say to his 14-year-old self today?

‘I’d encourage that boy to get back to the life he’s in, just to acknowledge where he is in life and be grateful for it and nurture it and build on it; to keep his feet on the ground and his eyes wide open to who he is and what it is he really wants in his heart.’